EVP/CEO Transition

This message was shared with all AIA Virginia members via email on Nov. 1, 2016.


DATE:         November 1, 2016
TO:              AIA Virginia Members
FROM:        Nicholas E. Vlattas, AIA, President
RE:              Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer Transition

During performance evaluation meetings with current EVP/CEO Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA held in June, the AIA Virginia Management Committee discussed with Helene her interest in extending her three-year employment agreement. Helene spoke very highly of serving the members of AIA Virginia, but indicated her desire to remain true to her initial commitment of what she considered an interim position – to successfully transition our organization from one long-time executive to another long-time executive.

I think many of us had hoped Helene would ‘change her mind’ and decide that she wanted to stay well beyond her original time frame and actually be that long-term exec. However, because of her intentions and interests at this point, and particularly in light of the phased elimination of Supplemental Dues as adopted in the FY2017 budget (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017), she believes this timing is in the overall best interests of AIA Virginia. Thus, Helene’s tenure of service will conclude effective June 30, 2017.

This message has been conveyed to and discussed with the AIA Virginia Executive Committee and Board of Directors and now is being disseminated to our members, directly.

Our Bylaws call for the Board of Directors to be responsible for the selection of the EVP/CEO. In accordance with the prescribed process, I have appointed an EVP/CEO Search Committee for the purposes of identifying, interviewing, vetting, and recommending a new EVP/CEO for selection. I’m pleased that the following individuals have agreed to serve on the committee, which I’ll chair:

  • Valerie D. Hassett, FAIA, 2015 President (AIA Northern Virginia)
  • Eric Keplinger, AIA, 2018 President (standing for election, AIA Hampton Roads)
  • William T. Brown, AIA, 2017 President (AIA Northern Virginia)
  • Robert A. Steele, AIA, Director, Liaison to The Branch Board of Trustees (AIA Richmond)
  • Elisabeth Sloan, AIA, 2016 President, AIA Central Virginia
  • Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA (ex-officio without vote, AIA Blue Ridge)

A Position Description has been prepared and was reviewed and approved by the committee; it will be used for the search process. The committee will soon prepare evaluation criteria and potential questions to be utilized during interviews, in addition to other related tasks. They will commence the search process in November with interim reporting anticipated to the board in December and February and selection by April.

Should you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to me, as I would welcome your input. I know you will also want to join me in expressing our gratitude to Helene for her incredible dedication and commitment, as well as the achievements during her term as our EVP/CEO. We wish her the very best in the next phase of her professional life.

Nick Vlattas




2016 President AIA Virginia
Nicholas E. Vlattas, AIA

President’s Report to the Membership

Greetings Colleagues,

I am pleased to report to the membership on the activities of AIA Virginia as we begin the final quarter of 2016.

On September 17, AIA Virginia marked 102 years since its founding in 1914 when William C. Noland, Clarence A. Neff, Philip N. Stern, Frank C. Baldwin, and Benjamin F. Mitchell met at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. It is fitting that we honor and congratulate Robert J. Dunay, FAIA as this year’s recipient of the William C. Noland Medal, our highest award given to a member architect. Mr. Dunay is the Virginia Tech Center for Design Research Director, ACSA Distinguished Professor and T.A. Carter Professor of Architecture at Virginia Tech.

I hope you will join me and your fellow colleagues at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday evening, November 4, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts when we honor Mr. Dunay and other honor awards recipients including:

  • Virginia Tech Patrick and Nancy Lathrop Professor of Architecture Jaan Holt will be recognized with the Architecture Medal for Virginia Service our most prestigious public award
  • Central Virginia architect R. Corey Clayborne, AIA, project manager and senior architect at Wiley | Wilson will receive the Award for Distinguished Achievement
  • Richmond architect Rachel Shelton, AIA, project manager and project architect with Glavé & Holmes and Northern
  • Virginia architect Katherine Williams, AIA, assistant project manager at Marion Construction are each to be honored with the Virginia Emerging Professional Award
  • Colonial Williamsburg Curator of Architecture William Graham and metal conservator Andrew Baxter will receive AIA Virginia Honors
  • AIA Virginia Managing Director Rhea George will receive Honorary Membership in AIA Virginia

Thank you to Chair William E. Evans, AIA, and the Honors Committee which included Michel C. Ashe, FAIA, James R. Boyd, AIA, James P. Clark, FAIA, Lori Garrett, AIA, Al Hansen, FAIA, Paula J. Loomis, FAIA, Mark McConnel, AIA, James W. Ritter FAIA, Robert E. Comet, AIA, Gwyn C. Gilliam, AIA, Burchell F. Pinnock, AIA, and Donna M. Phaneuf, AIA.

Nick Vlattas, AIA
Nick Vlattas, AIA
2016 President, AIA Virginia

The first weekend in November is always a special time for the architects of Virginia when we come together for our annual convention with a focus on elevating our profession, networking with our colleagues, and learning and sharing innovative ideas about design, materials, and products. This is our 29th year and our staff and volunteers led by Vice President of the Advisory Council on Professional Excellence, Ms. Elizabeth Reader, FAIA, and AIA Virginia Education Director Marshall Dreiling have been busy preparing for the event which will feature as keynote speakers Ms. Rosa Sheng AIA of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and founding Chairperson of The Missing 32% Project, and 2013 AIA President Mr. Mickey Jacob FAIA who is a 2018 candidate for Mayor of Tampa, FL. I look forward to seeing you in Richmond on November 2-4. Online registration is open through Oct. 26.

We invite you, your voice and your vote to the Annual Meeting of the Membership! The meeting will be held at Architecture Exchange East at the Greater Richmond Convention Center following the first keynote on Thursday, November 3, from 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The officers of AIA Virginia look forward to providing a report to the membership on the activities and accomplishments during 2016 as well as goals for 2017. We will elect officers for 2017 and vote on a very important issue to eliminate supplemental dues. Our plan is to implement a four-year approach in which supplemental dues for AIA members are eliminated in 2017, followed by Associate members in the second year, non-member architects in the third year and finally technical employees in the final year of 2020. As savings in dues expenses are recognized by our members and their firms, we are hopeful that you will consider supporting AIA Virginia in other ways such as sponsoring programs which are of importance to your firms.

AIA Virginia’s Emerging Leaders in Architecture is accepting applications for the 2017 class. I hope you will consider supporting and encouraging candidates to apply to the program. ELA is an Honors Academy of AIA Virginia which develops future leaders in architecture firms, in communities and in the profession. The goal is to accelerate the growth of emerging architects and provide the tools and experiences needed to advance their careers and serve society as leaders in their community. The program requires a commitment of attending sessions the first Friday of every month from January-November and additional time for work on the class project.

Representing AIA Virginia, Vice President of Government Advocacy Tim Colley, AIA, AIA Virginia Managing Director Rhea George, member Kathleen Frazier, AIA, and I attended in Richmond the August 29 meeting of the Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Tax Preferences to urge legislators to reject a repeal, sunset or cap to Virginia’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (HRTC). My testimony to the committee can be found here. We were joined by representatives from dozens of other businesses, homeowners, non-profits, associations, churches, and communities who came from all over the Commonwealth to speak in support of the credit.

A survey about the HRTC was sent to our 2,116 members on August 4, 2016. 97% of the 244 members who responded were in support of Virginia’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. 73% believed that their businesses would be harmed if the credit were eliminated or capped and 70% reported that they’ve worked on historic tax credit projects.

This legislation will continue to be under scrutiny over the next several months. Please consider contacting your representative if you support the overwhelmingly positive impact HRTC has had on many communities in our Commonwealth. There is a sample letter on our website which can be used as a guide as you reach out to your representative.

I urge you to please consider giving to the AIA Virginia Political Action Committee, even if it is a small amount to support legislation which is of importance to our members. Many voices will help us be heard by our legislators.

AIA Virginia fiscal year 2017 began on July 1, 2016, and we are pleased to report for first two months ending August 31, 2016, we have assets of $158,542 and liabilities of $58,363 for a net fund balance of $100,179. The end of summer represents a very slow time for revenue which will pick up in the final months of the year as we begin receiving Architectural Exchange East registrations and member dues. For the first two months, our revenues were $161,363 and expenses were $183,191 for an excess of expenses over revenue of ($21,828). Our full year total for membership in 2016 stands at 1,616 Architects, 494 Associates, 11 Emeritus, and 29 Allied members.

AIA Virginia continues to work hard to bring significant value to our members, provide programs and services which are relevant to our fast-changing profession and to celebrate the prosperity of our members. Our mission is to be the voice of the architecture profession in the Commonwealth, dedicated to serving our members and through a culture of innovation, AIA Virginia empowers its members, advances their value, and inspires the creation of a better-built environment.

Thank you for being a member of AIA Virginia and for your contributions to our profession and practice of architecture in the Commonwealth! Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or suggestions for AIA Virginia.

Nick Vlattas AIA
AIA Virginia President 2016

2016 AIA Convention Wrap Up

Greetings Colleagues,

Nick Vlattas, AIA 2016 President AIA Virginia
Nick Vlattas, AIA
2016 AIA Virginia President

As your delegate representing AIA Virginia, it is my pleasure to report on AIA Convention recently held in Philadelphia on May 19-21, 2016, and to also update you on current efforts of the Board of Directors and staff at AIA Virginia.

It was reported that over 20,000 were in attendance at AIA Convention which promoted President Russ Davidson, FAIA, and the convention’s theme of “Imagine+, to celebrate architecture’s unique ability to add value to projects and our continuing drive for new knowledge, fresh insights, and leading-edge skills.”

AIA Convention was an incredible experience filled with a myriad of opportunities to connect and share with people from around the world with a passion for architecture and to gain new knowledge and skills. General Sessions with keynotes by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Neri Oxman, and Rem Koolhaas were certainly a highlight of the convention for me, but also of interest were the business sessions, caucuses, and election, alumni and regional receptions, educational tours, seminars and workshops, AIA Expo, exhibits, Host Chapter Party, AIA Town Hall and Store, book signings, and experiencing Philadelphia.

Of greatest inspiration was the keynote titled “Design at the Intersection of Science + Engineering” by Neri Oxman, an architect, designer, and MIT professor “whose pioneering work explores biologically-inspired fabrication technologies that enhance relationships between designed objects and the environment.”  One person tweeted during her talk “My head is reeling with the potential of growing seamless built form – so inspired by the complex work of @NeriOxman #aiacon16”. I encourage you to watch her recent TED Talk which has scored more than 1.1 million views.

At the 2015 AIA Convention in Atlanta, President Bill Clinton was one of the keynote speakers and it was billed for this year’s convention that we would have another President – Kevin Spacey who plays President Frank Underwood on “House of Cards.” Mr. Spacey canceled the engagement and so Mr. Davidson was pleased to announce that the keynote address was filled by Julia Louis-Dreyfus playing the role of Vice President on “VEEP”.  Being a fan of “Seinfeld”, it was interesting to hear Fresh Air’s Terry Gross interview Ms. Louis-Dreyfus about her career from being a student at Northwestern to her current role on VEEP as well as her current experience of working with an architect to design her personal residence.

Executive Vice President and CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, reported on the success of the institute’s public awareness campaign, “#ilookup”, which has been active on social media, including a film competition, and television ads which reached 125 million viewers during the height of political debates with themes of “working together we can create great things, serve the greater good, and imagine what we can create together.” As part of its digital transformation, AIA has also launched its redesigned website in pilot format which can be viewed here. The website was billed as a “transformation from a stable pyramid to a dynamic network of the 21st century” with fundamental changes, stunning visual layout, greater functionality, faster search, fully mobile, and it is “only the beginning in sharing who we are, what we do and why it matters.”

During the Business Session, the delegates heard updates on AIA’s activities and finances and voted to pass amendments to institute bylaws and passed other resolutions of recognition and appreciation. One resolution of interest resoundingly passed was amending the current “Intern Declaration Policy” to strengthen the Institute’s commitment to its members and the profession to more assertively address its position on the use of unpaid labor. Following speeches by the candidates at plenary sessions and responding to questions at regional caucuses,  the delegates elected Carl Elefante, FAIA (AIA Potomac Valley), Principal of Quinn Evans Architects in Washington D.C., as its 2017 First Vice President/2018 President-elect. Also elected were Bruce W. Sekanick, AIA (AIA Eastern Ohio) as 2017-2018 Secretary and Peter J. Exley, FAIA (AIA Chicago) as 2017-2019 At-Large Director.

The Expo consisted of 170,000 square feet of booths, galleries, and lounges and nearly 800 exhibiting companies showing what’s new in materials, technologies and processes to help us in our practice. Many exhibits displayed the work of talented practitioners who were awarded for their innovation. During the course of Convention, presentations were made to design and honor award recipients including, to name a few, the AIA Gold Medal to Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, the AIA Architecture Firm Award to LMN Architects, and 11 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture. Workshops, seminars, and educational tours were varied and plentiful providing a wide range of choices to feed our hearts, mind, spirit and passion for architecture.

Philadelphia was an excellent host for AIA Convention 2016 providing an inspiring stage for Convention as one of the first planned cities in North America envisioned by William Penn as a “greene countrie towne which will never be burnt and always be wholesome”. The city has produced prominent architects and architecture for centuries which led to many opportunities to explore a rich and diverse urban environment. We enjoyed connecting with our colleagues at the reception of The Virginias and also at the Host Chapter Party with entertainment by actor Kevin Bacon and his band, The Bacon Brothers.

I encourage all of our members, whether you have never been to AIA Convention or if you are a veteran, to consider attending our 2017 Convention which will be in Orlando April 27-29, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.


The next regular meeting of the Board of Directors of AIA Virginia is scheduled for June 17, 2016. Our agenda is filled with important items as we near the conclusion of Fiscal Year 2016, on June 30, 2016. Included in our business is continued work on our tri-annual update to our Strategic Planning process which began in February with a retreat of the Board of Directors and staff of AIA Virginia. The Board will also consider the FY2017 budget with projections for FY2018 and FY2019 as we strive to meet the goal of the elimination of Supplemental Dues. We are evaluating methods to replace Supplemental Dues with revenue from new sources with the goal of providing additional benefits to our members. The Board continues to work on updates to its Bylaws and other Governance Documents.  The Nominations Committee will also be meeting to identify candidates for officers of the Board for the Annual Meeting of the Membership to be held at Architecture Exchange East on November 2-4, 2016, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

In addition on June 17, 2016, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Board looks forward to reporting its progress to the membership during the AIA Virginia Virtual Membership Meeting.

On June 14, we are continuing the initiative to convene a Large Firm Roundtable on a semi-annual basis to gain a better understanding of the priorities and concerns of our state’s largest architecture firms thus informing the AIA Virginia on how it might shape its programs and activities to better serve its large firm constituents, to play a strategic role for the architectural profession by being a sounding board to identify developing issues in our profession, and to provide input and ideas and work with AIA Virginia to ensure the architecture profession is championing design and serving the evolving needs of clients and communities.


As part of the repositioning initiative of the AIA National, the leadership of AIA Virginia, AIA Blue Ridge, AIA Central Virginia, AIA Hampton Roads, AIA Northern Virginia, and AIA Richmond have been collaborating during the last year to meet the goal of ensuring that all AIA members receive the services they have a right to expect from AIA. Core Member Services are basic deliverables categorized into seven service areas. AIA national, state and local components all have a role to play in delivering specific services designed to elevate public awareness, advocate for the profession, communicate with members, provide educational opportunities, maintain membership and manage their operations, finances and governance. We are pleased to report that AIA National notified us in May that all components in Virginia were accredited and that AIA Virginia received a three-year accreditation.


We are close to the mid-year point of the service of this year’s Board of Directors and I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the Directors individually by name and thank them for their service to AIA Virginia and its members.

William T. Brown, AIA, First Vice President / President-elect; Robert V. Reis, AIA, Vice President / Communications and Outreach; Tim A. Colley, AIA, Vice President / Government Advocacy; Elizabeth A. Reader, FAIA, Vice President / Professional Excellence; Eric Keplinger, AIA, Secretary; S. Jeanne LeFever, AIA, Treasurer; Valerie Hassett, FAIA, Immediate Past President; John A. Burns, FAIA, Director; Al Cox, FAIA, Director; Phoebe A. Crisman, AIA, Director; Robert J. Dunay, FAIA, Director; Robert Easter, AIA, Director; Spencer E. Lepler, AIA, Director; Kelly Olt, AIA, Director; Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, AIA, Director; Damian L. Seitz, AIA, Director; Robert A. Steele, AIA, Director; Fernando Viego, AIA, Director; Daniel Zimmerman, AIA, Director; Gina A. Robinson, Assoc. AIA, Associate Director; Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, Executive Vice President / CEO.

The staff of AIA Virginia is also working hard on our behalf and truly worthy of recognition.

Helene Combs Dreiling FAIA, Executive Vice President / CEO; Rhea George, Managing Director; Judy Cheadle, Partnership Advisor; Marshall Dreiling, Education Manager; Shanelle Calvin, Membership Manager; Cathy Guske, Hon. AIAVA, Communications Manager; Keesha Ezell, Director of Finance; Edward Nace, Accounting Assistant; Savannah Ball, Manager of Outreach Programs; Rebecca Lonadier, Manager of Special Projects.


As if you need a reminder, 2016 is an election year and the voices of architects should be heard. Please consider giving to AIA Virginia PAC here, even if it is a small amount, many voices will help us be heard by our legislators.

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design continues to elevate the public awareness of architecture and design within the Commonwealth through innovative exhibitions, educational programs, and partnerships. Based on a strong belief in our mission and direction, The Cabell Foundation has issued a $500,000 2:1 challenge grant through June 30, 2016.  To multiply your support of the Branch, your consideration of a gift is appreciated. Donate>>


AIA Virginia continues to work hard to bring significant value to our members, provide programs and services which are relevant to our fast-changing profession and to celebrate the prosperity of our members. Our mission is to be the voice of the architecture profession in the Commonwealth, dedicated to serving our members and through a culture of innovation, AIA Virginia empowers its members, advances their value, and inspires the creation of a better-built environment.


Thank you for being a member of AIA Virginia! Leadership from AIA Virginia and local components have made it a point to reach out to our membership by visiting firms across the Commonwealth to share the initiatives of AIA Virginia and to listen to ideas and issues facing our membership. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or suggestions for AIA Virginia.

Nick Vlattas AIA
AIA Virginia President 2016

A Busy Year Ahead

Greetings Colleagues,

I trust this message finds you well into the New Year making excellent and exciting contributions to the practice of architecture in the Commonwealth. At AIA Virginia, we are off to a fast start and I want to first thank all the members who have renewed membership in AIA. I also want to thank the firm practitioners who support participation by their employees in AIA activities. Last year AIA Virginia ended with 2,397 members and we expect that number to grow in 2016.  Membership in AIA is at an all-time high and AIA Virginia is working hard to bring significant value to its members, provide programs and services which are relevant to our fast-changing profession and to celebrate the prosperity of our members.

Nick Vlattas, AIA
Nick Vlattas, AIA
2016 President, AIA Virginia

The 2016 Board of Directors held its first meeting in December and is engaged with AIA Virginia staff under the direction of Executive Vice President / CEO Helene Dreiling, FAIA in advancing programs and services through our three Advisory Councils for Communications and Outreach led by Rob Reis, AIA, Government Advocacy led by Tim Colley, AIA, and Professional Excellence led by Beth Reader, FAIA.

DESIGN FORUM XII: Our first major event for Professional Excellence this year is Design Forum XII which will take place on Friday and Saturday, April 1-2, at the recently completed Slover Library in Norfolk Virginia. The overarching topic is TRANSFORMATION: THE CHANGING POINT. The forum will explore how design itself is transformed in the wake of a changing climate and how meaningful changes are enacted by design. Led by our dynamic moderator, Z Smith of Eskew Dumez Ripple, presentations from OMA, Playlab, and Kieran Timberlake, among others, will explore the intersection of design and transformation. If you haven’t seen the Slover Library, I know you will be inspired by the building designed by the partnership of Newman Architects and Tymoff and Moss Architects, I hope that you will put the Design Forum on your calendar and attend. Register>>

LEGISLATIVE SESSION: The General Assembly began its 60-day legislative session on the second Wednesday of January. AIA Virginia engages legislators to tell them what we think about legislation affecting limitations of liability, open-space planning, historic renovation tax credits, universal building codes, sustainability, statutes of repose, basically the entire spectrum of an architect’s practice. Thank you to our Government Advocacy Advisory Council led by Tim Colley, AIA and staff liaison Rhea George for monitoring current legislation of importance to architects in the Commonwealth. I hope that you will consider supporting your profession and your practice by contributing to the AIA Virginia Political Action Committee. Even the smallest amount will help send a message to our representatives on the importance of legislation that impacts our profession.

STRATEGIC PLANNING RETREAT: Every three years AIA Virginia revisits its strategic plan. The Board of Directors will participate in a strategic planning retreat in late February. Our mission is to be the voice of the architecture profession in the Commonwealth, dedicated to serving our members and through a culture of innovation, AIA Virginia empowers its members, advances their value, and inspires the creation of a better-built environment. I look forward to collaborating with our officers, directors and staff leadership as we refine our strategies and goals for the coming few years.

FINANCIAL OUTLOOK:  One of our focused priorities for AIA Virginia is to be financially responsible so as to ensure operational sustainability and success. In 2015, we changed our fiscal year from a December 31, year-end to a June 30, year-end to correspond to the timing of our programs and member dues revenue. We are pleased to report that at the semi-annual period ending December 31, 2015, our revenues are ahead of forecast due to a strong showing at Architectural Exchange East and our expenses are on budget leading to an improved balance sheet as compared to the same period a year ago.

EMERGING LEADERS: Congratulations to the 53 architects who passed their ARE exam in Virginia in 2015. Additionally, AIA Virginia has selected the 16-member 2016 class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture which held its first session in Richmond in early January. We wish them well in the program which consists of seven, day-long seminars, several work sessions, culminating with a presentation at Architecture Exchange East. The future success of AIA hinges on our ability to engage the next generation of architects. I hope you will join me in encouraging participation by our emerging professionals in AIA programs at the local, state or national level.

AIA GRASSROOTS and AIA CONVENTION: Leadership from AIA Virginia will be attending AIA Grassroots 2016, February 23-25, in Detroit. Registration is now open for AIA Convention 2016, May 19-21, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. I hope you will consider attending.

Thank you again for your support of AIA Virginia. On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of AIA Virginia, we look forward to serving our members in 2016 bringing value to your practice.

Nick Vlattas, AIA
AIA Virginia President 2016

Charting A Path Forward

It was just 14 short months ago that we gathered in the Jefferson Hotel a few blocks from here to celebrate the 100th anniversary of AIA Virginia. On that glorious September day, I was inspired as we heard the minutes read from our organization’s first meeting held in 1914 followed by the reading of the names of all the presidents that served during our first century.

It made me think back to the early days of my career, three years following graduation and starting a small practice with my

Nick Vlattas, AIA 2016 President AIA Virginia
Nick Vlattas, AIA
2016 President AIA Virginia. Photo by Dan Currier

partners. Achieving membership in The American Institute of Architects was a milestone in my life. AIA was such a wonderful resource for professional practice and for connections with colleagues. AIA was a gift!

Today I stand before you humbled and honored to serve as the 2016 President of our esteemed organization, AIA Virginia, with joy and hope that I can continue to give back to the profession in a meaningful way.

In 2015, the first year of our second hundred years, as reported earlier, significant transformation in our organization was led by our President, Valerie Hassett, FAIA and our Executive Vice President/CEO Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA with support from an exceptional Board of Directors and a deeply committed and dedicated staff.  There was significant collaboration with leadership from our five local components and with AIA National as the institute repositions itself for the fast-changing practice of architecture.

It is my hope to build upon the firm foundation of the last century and of this year with four pillars of focus:

  • First, I want AIA Virginia to be financially responsible to ensure operational sustainability and success.
  • Second, I want membership in AIA Virginia to be of significant value to its members.
  • Third, I want to see that our programs and services are relevant to our fast changing profession.
  • Finally, I hope to celebrate the prosperity of our members.

As we structure our programs and services in 2016, I also believe that we can build upon the principles of the VIRGINIA ACCORD. Shortly after the Centennial Celebration, under the leadership of then AIA Virginia President and Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, Jack Davis FAIA, the VIRGINIA ACCORD brought together planning, design, construction, and real estate disciplines to examine key themes critical to our future in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VIRGINIA ACCORD recognized the excellent contributions of the past century and offered our promise for the future with five guiding principles:

  1. Commitment to contributing to job creation and a growing and thriving economy
  2. Commitment to constructing environmentally sustainable buildings
  3. Commitment to public health
  4. Commitment to systems of mass transit
  5. Commitment to responsible land development and urban infill

There are a couple of other items I would like to highlight for next year.

Design Forum XII will take place in April at the recently completed Slover Library in Norfolk Virginia. If you haven’t seen the Slover Library, I know you will be inspired by the building. The overarching topic is TRANSFPRMATION: THE CHANGING POINT. The forum will explore how design itself is transformed in the wake of a changing climate and how meaningful changes are enacted by design. Confirmed speakers are from OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), Kieran Timberlake, and Playlab.

Every three years AIA Virginia revisits its Strategic Plan so I am looking forward to that effort in the year ahead. Our mission is to be the voice of the architecture profession in the Commonwealth, dedicated to serving our members and through a culture of innovation, AIA Virginia empowers its members, advances their value, and inspires the creation of a better built environment.

In summary, I am proud to have graduated from Virginia Tech where our motto is UT PROSIM, THAT I MAY SERVE.

That I have been a Rotarian for over thirty years living by a motto of SERVICE ABOVE SELF.

And further, that I have strong faith that my Creator put me on this earth to DO GOOD WORKS and to HELP ONE ANOTHER.

It is with that frame of mind and with that spirit in my heart, working with my colleagues that I embark on the year ahead as a servant leader to the members of AIA Virginia. Thank you.


Nick Vlattas, AIA
President-Elect 2016
AIA Virginia